Colorado Democrats open wallets for Obama inauguration
December 29, 2008
DENVER ” Several Colorado Democrats donated the $50,000 maximum individuals could contribute for President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration, according to official records.
Two are on the rolls for $25,000 each, including Belly Up Aspen owner Michael Goldberg, while another gave $12,500. Some gave as little as $250.
Some of the names on the list aren’t necessarily surprises.
Pat Stryker, an heiress to the Stryker Corp. and worth $1.8 billion according to Forbes, gave $50,000. But her name is often attached to big money and Democratic causes.
Former Colorado U.S. Senate candidate Tom Strickland also gave $50,000. Strickland’s name has come up as a possible replacement for Sen. Ken Salazar, who took a Cabinet job with the Obama administration.
“I was 8 when John F. Kennedy was elected and inaugurated, and we had this sense of open possibility that we haven’t had since,” Strickland said. “It will be a historic event, and my wife and three daughters are very excited about the beginning of this new era.”
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Strickland said he didn’t need to donate the money to get tickets for the Jan. 20 inauguration, although he said some events such as after-inauguration balls haven’t been sorted out yet.
The Presidential Inaugural Committee was set up by the president-elect as a way for the public to get information about the event, which some officials and media groups are estimating more than 2 million people will attend.
The committee doesn’t accept contributions from a wide range of groups including corporations, political action committees, labor unions, current federally registered lobbyists and non-U.S. citizens.
Individual contributions are capped at $50,000, and bundling can’t exceed $300,000.
The donors list for those in Colorado who gave money includes Karen Ekuban, the wife of Denver Broncos defensive end Ebenezer Ekuban. She gave $500.
Merle Chambers, founder and president of the Denver- based Chambers Family Fund, gave $50,000.
Chambers was inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame in 2004 and was also given the Josef Korbel Humanitarian Award the same year.
– Pat McConathy, self-employed, Vail: $50,000
– Holly Lev, self-employed, Boulder: $50,000
– Pat Stryker, heiress, Fort Collins: $50,000
– Tom Strickland, former U.S. Senate candidate, Denver: $50,000
– Bruce Oreck, self-employed, Boulder: $50,000
* Merle Chambers, self-employed, Denver: $50,000
– Pamela Joseph, self-employed, Aspen: $25,000
– Michael Goldberg, self-employed, Aspen: $25,000
– Joseph Zimlich, CEO Bohemian Cos., Fort Collins: $12,500
– Karen Ekuban, “My Husband/Children,” Parker: $500
– Steve Silverman, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Englewood: $250
– Sahalu Saidu, self-employed, Denver: $250
– Patricia Mclaughlin, Sound Images Inc., Denver: $250
– Maryadel Lavoie, Sun Cali Inc.: Denver: $250
– Darrell Jackson, not employed, Broomfield: $250